Katrina Clarke | March 30, 2016 | Toronto Star
Dustin Brown and his friends do their best thinking while drinking — which is how his “dadchelor” party came to be.
“We, as a group of guys, like to get away and party it up,” said John Pryde, Brown’s longtime friend who helped plan the Toronto father-to-be’s party while at a pub. Brown and 18 of his friends rented a chalet at Blue Mountain in mid-March and spent the weekend skiing, hot tubbing, eating a catered dinner and partying.
“The (dadchelor party) was an excuse for that, and to celebrate Dusty too.”
Indeed, “dadchelor” parties — also known as baby showers for men — are popping up at bars, in backyards and on ski hills across North America, as soon-to-be dads find ways to join in on the baby celebrations their female partners typically enjoy. According to popular image discovery site Pinterest, pins (visual bookmarks) for men-only showers rose by 149 per cent in 2015 over the year before, and coed celebration pins increased 255 per cent.
“Why shouldn’t a dad be able to celebrate?” said Crystal Adair-Benning, owner of Distinct Occasions wedding and event planning in Toronto. “Having a baby is a big deal for dads and I think as a society we don’t talk about it as much.”
Adair-Benning said up until two years ago, she’d only planned women-only showers. Now, a quarter of her baby business is coed showers.
The difference between the two, she’s found, is that traditional baby showers tend to include games — past ones included guess the poo (spoiler: it’s chocolate) or blind baby food taste-testing — and coed showers have a more sophisticated, party vibe.
She hasn’t had requests for a dadchelor — yet.
The vibe at dad-to-be parties, it seems, is decidedly frat partylike. Suggested Pinterest themes include “Huggies and Chuggies,” where the guests bring diapers and the father-to-be provides the beer, and poker. But variations are out there. Brown once attended a tropical-themed backyard dadchelor party in Whitby that featured a steel drum band.
Brown’s own dadchelor party was more reminiscent of a low-key bachelor party. The only game played was beer pong.
In a speech, Brown, 34, told his friends, “This isn’t goodbye, this is just see you later.”
“I think it’s a nice way for the guys to acknowledge the change in one of their friends’ lives,” he said. “I imagine it’s going to be pretty intense for that first little bit.”
Pryde agreed, noting that dadchelor send-offs could have more significance than a bachelor party. Today, couples’ lives don’t change much after marriage, but they do after babies, he said.
That change is quickly approaching for Brown, whose wife is due in April, but he seems well prepared.
“That’s him pretending to hold a baby,” said Pryde, referring to a photo from the party in which Brown is holding his hands in the air and grinning. “He’s been doing that a lot lately.”
How to throw a baby shower you want to attend
Tired of baby food taste-tests, guess-the-poo games and watching a mom-to-be open gifts? Your friends probably are too.
Here are some tips gathered from Pinterest and suggested by Crystal Adair-Benning of Distinct Occasions wedding and event planning for hosting a fun-focused non-traditional baby shower:
- Huggies and Chuggies: Dad-to-be supplies the beer. Guests supply the diapers.
- Sperm cornhole: Toss some beanbag swimmers into the hole in a slab of wood.
- Cigar bar: Cigar-smoking is a long-standing tradition enjoyed by men celebrating a birth. Nonpregnant women welcome to join in.
- Baby-Q: Relax, it’s just a barbecue.
- Baby bottle beer chugging contest: Fill up bottles with your brew of choice and get chugging.